Sunday, December 10, 2017


It's only December 10th, but f' it, I'm starting 2018 now!!! Over the last few years, I've enjoyed writing detailed year-end recaps, but I think that I'll keep it fairly simple this go round... VIN, the blog, has been slowing its roll recently as I complete two long-standing projects for Light in the Attic Records: Creation Never Sleeps, Creation Never Dies: The Willie Dunn Anthology 1968-1984 and a long-overdue re-release of 2006's Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk, and Reggae 1967-1974. Both projects are scheduled to drop in 2018 and will initiate a shift of energy from my freelance production and journalistic work w/ LITA, a collaboration that began with our Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy reissue in 2004, into a new aura of cultural preservation, documentation, conception, and expression under the Voluntary In Nature umbrella, universal and cosmic in scope, but pro-artist and down to earth. Rest assured, I will continue to work w/ collaborators on projects that reach beyond finance, statistics, and algorithms, but w/ an intensified vision. The groundwork has already been laid (I wipe my brow and bow my head yet again). VIN is and will be a humble affair with a mandate to (continue to) learn and grow. To say much more would be premature, but rest assured that I am heeding my call of bridging and connecting cultures, generations, and eras of technology. To build, not to bite, and to help lift up those who have been down since day one. Together, we rise. Love, Sip

2017 life:

The Spell of the Yukon (*Thanks to everyone for making this special journey happen!@#$%!!!)
Yves Saint Laurent exhibit (*Inspiring)
DTES Annual Women's Memorial March (*Gentlemen, know your place)
John Angaiak Vancouver sessions
The Be In Rewind Walk
Ty's jeans
NNA Prime Minister reply and recognition
Japan Can Lido Jam (*Ichiro Goto #1)
Willie Thrasher & Linda Saddleback opening for Tanya Tagaq (*Willie/Linda tore the house down!!!)
Swimming '17 (*Give thanks!!!)
F%ck 150
Powell River Blanket Exercise
Kicking it w/ The Mighty Pope in Van
Hon's RIP (*It's ok...)
Vancouver Folk Festival (*Thank you Linda Tanaka and VFF)
Wayne McGhie RIP
Golden Ears
SappyFest12 (*BIG love to Steven Lambke and SappyFest!!!)
Glenn Copeland at SappyFest12
Native North America Gathering (*Thank you to the artists for making this grassroots event possible, national CBC broadcast in late January 2018)
Celebrating the life of Wayne McGhie  (*May your music play on!!!)
Tiffany Falls b/w Tiffany Falls
Eclipse glasses causing a commotion w/ the seniors set in Parkdale (*"You could charge money! You'd be rich!")
No Sound Like We (*Props Kamandi and crew)
Savary Island (*See pic above, sneaky JFF, love you)
Dad's 70th Birthday (*Love ya Dad!!! Great planning Trev!!!)
Gordon Dick Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award (*Keep on rocking!!!)
Drum gifting (*Thanks so much Gordie, you have touched the deepest part of my soul yet again)
RIDE birthday jam(s)
Paul Weller at the Commodore (and Nardwuar interview)
L.A. (work and) play
Gino Vannelli LIVE (*He's still got it!!!)
ISKCON lunches ($5 and lots to think about)
Playing JA records alongside George Barrett (*An honour)
Slow Vancouver reunion shows


Fiver - Audible Songs From Rockwood (2017)
RIDE - "Cali" (from Weather Diaries) (2017)
SeekersInternational - RaggaPreservationSociety EP (2016) on wax (2017)
Malcolm Jack live
NNA live
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Krsna Meditation (2 LP set) (1974)
The Sound - Shock of Daylight EP (1984)
Black Savage - "Kothbiro" 7" (1976)
George Harrison - "Brainwashed" (from Brainwashed) (2002)
Lacksley Castell - "Million Miles From Home" (from Jah Fire) (1980)
Gil Scott-Heron (*Always)
Willie Thrasher & Linda Saddleback - "The Sacred Fire Of Peace" (*Forthcoming...)

*The rest is a mystery... See you on the flip!!! PEACE


Friday, October 20, 2017

Sipreano picks Weller and Nardwuar interview

I had the MASSIVE honour of meeting Paul Weller this past Monday, playing records at his Commodore Ballroom two-night stand and helping out Nardwuar w/ a fab interview (see below). With a soulful backing band including long-time collaborator and ace face Steve Craddock, each concert was inspiring and full of love. It pushed me to make an unofficial Jam/Style Council/Paul Weller solo playlist on Spotify (my first!) of songs that have greatly touched my heart over the years. Do not miss Paul on the next go round and keep on keeping on good peoples... PEACE

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

RIP Gord (Budget Shoes)

Generally leaning towards private reflection when a public icon passes on, I wasn't intending to mention Gord Downie's death online... And then I thought of Willie Thrasher, and Linda Saddleback, and Malcolm Jack, and our cover of "Budget Shoes" from Gord and The Sadies' "Conquering Sun" album. I met Gord a few years back at a concert in Vancouver thanks to a kind introduction by Dr. Dallas Good. He was friendly, playful, and interested to hear about the yet to be released Native North America compilation that I had just completed. As a teenager, I had been inspired by The Hip's Another Roadside Attraction tour that landed on Seabird Island in 1993 w/ performances by Midnight Oil, World Party, and Pere Ubu amidst a backdrop of mountainous nature. In the midst of Clayoquot rainforest clearcutting not far away, there was an intentional activist and environmentally conscious element to the event and it stuck w/ me: the connection between people, the earth, and the universal expression of music. So today, I will listen to both Gord and Willie's versions of "Budget Shoes," and bow my head in reverence to everyone out there who is making a difference by going above and beyond (the edge)... (Rest In) PEACE

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Native North America Gathering in The Guardian

"In the shadow of Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations, once-obscure Indigenous musicians from across North America gathered in Toronto to perform songs fuses to the land of their ancestors."

Link here!!!


Thursday, August 3, 2017

NOW Magazine (Native North America Gathering)

So humbled to see my friend Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and the host of CBC's Reclaimed, Jarrett Martineau, on the cover of NOW Magazine Toronto in a feature on Indigenous creative expression and the upcoming Native North America Gathering on Tuesday, August 8th at Trinity St.-Paul's. Tickets still available at Soundscapes, Rotate This, and via Ticketfly. PEACE

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Native North America Gathering 08-08-17

It's one week away from the most important day of my life... On August 8, 2017, twelve artists featured on the Grammy-nominated Native North America (Vol. 1) compilation will take to the stage at Trinity-St. Paul's in downtown Toronto for an evening of music, film, storytelling, poetry, and art. It's a celebration of Indigenous culture and one that will bridge generations, eras of technology, and connect people of different backgrounds from around the world. I am excited to report that CBC Music will be recording and broadcasting this event, but this is no substitute for those in the region or with the desire to travel. You will not be disappointed. The feeling in the room will be electric, undeniable, and full of emotion and positive energy. Do not miss this gathering!

We are honoured to have family members of the legendary Willie Dunn and Morley Loon in attendance and it is our duty to pay tribute to all of the trailblazing First Nations, M├ętis, and Inuit artists from the 1960s/70s/80s who played a key role in building the framework and creating potential for today's thriving Indigenous music scene. To provide further context and to share his encyclopedic knowledge of Native music, veteran broadcaster, writer, and educator Brian Wright-McLeod is our host and MC. The Native North America Gathering is a festival rolled into one very special evening, a truly grassroots affair with no corporate sponsorship or direct government grants, made possible through the efforts of the many selfless artists and families involved, Voluntary In Nature, Gladeye, Revolutions Per Minute (, and (most importantly) YOU! We are all very excited to meet friends old and new! Please help us to make it known!


Native North America Gathering

Featuring live performances from...

Duke Redbird
Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback
Willy Mitchell
Lawrence Martin with Vern Cheechoo
Lloyd Cheechoo
Eric Landry
Leland Bell
Brian Davey
John Angaiak
Ernest Monias

The Ballad of Crowfoot (Willie Dunn)

Brian Wright-McLeod

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Trinity-St. Paul's
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Doors: 7pm, show 8 pm

Tickets available at Soundscapes, Rotate This or via Ticketfly

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Shock of Daylight

*There's times when all I want to hear is a song, EP, or album on constant rotation. They provide a mantra for challenging or exciting times. This is the current spin... REWIND!!! PEACE

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wayne McGhie (1946-2017)

This afternoon, I was notified that Jamaican-Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Wayne McGhie had passed away after a series of compounding health complications at his home in Toronto. I have been asked by his sister and care giver Merline to let the music world know of his physical death, an honour which I do not take lightly. Wayne is heavily responsible for my career in writing and music and I have been made to feel a part of his family since our initial meeting in 2003. At the time of its release in 1970, The Sounds Of Joy was ignored by the Canadian music industry and mass media and despite selling limited quantities, he pushed forward throughout the 1970s writing, producing, performing, and arranging. Confronted with serious mental health issues, Wayne went missing and retreated from playing music professionally in the early-to-mid-1980s. I first heard Wayne's music in the 1990s as a DJ in Vancouver, British Columbia. His Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy record had become sought after in the underground sample-based hip-hop world and celebrated by obscure funk and soul music collectors worldwide. Captivated by its quality, I longed to find an elusive copy. It took me years to find one. Along with Light in the Attic co-owner Matt Sullivan and fellow Montego Bay-born singer Jay Douglas, I connected with Wayne and his family in late 2003 during preparation for the first official reissue of his Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy LP. Armed with a portable turntable and a stack of vinyl records, it was an emotional gathering for everyone in the room. Tears were shed (as they are today). A true pioneer of Jamaican and Canadian music has moved on. May your mind, body, and soul be free...

I love you Wayne, 

*Below is a post-script essay included in the ten year anniversary Light in the Attic re-release from 2014, and below that, a heavily condensed version of my Sounds Of Joy liner notes for further context.

May 21, 2014

Much has happened over the last 10 years, but the music and stature of Jamaican-Canadian singer-songwriter Wayne McGhie has only grown since Light in the Attic’s 2004 reissue of Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of Joy. Despite critical acclaim from the likes of the The New York Times, CBC, and plenty of street level props, it’s a shame that Wayne can’t fully join in on the celebration and much deserved notoriety. In early 2013, The Sounds of Joy, McGhie’s debut album and a landmark record of Black Canadian expression, was awarded with an eighth place honour in NOW Magazine’s, “The 50 Best Toronto Albums Ever” list. Appearing alongside Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Rush, and fellow Jamaican and musical collaborator, Jackie Mittoo, McGhie was definitely in good company. It was a long overdue acknowledgement of the Caribbean musician’s immense contributions to our collective cultural fabric (whether the masses are aware of it or not), but also an ironic clash with his daily struggles to survive. McGhie lives with acute schizophrenia and no longer plays or writes music. His loving sister Merline helps take care of him, a true guardian angel if there ever was, while Wayne maintains a low profile. Though he was excited to hear of a renewed interest in his vintage material, which also helped McGhie to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Wayne lives a relatively solitary life, far removed from the recording studio or steady supply of gigs that once filled his calendar. Though unable to relish in the spotlight or reestablish his music career, McGhie’s legacy has reached far beyond its initial regional audiences in Montego Bay and Toronto. Since the rediscovery of The Sounds of Joy through DJ and sound system culture, Wayne’s music has been sampled by hip-hop producers looking to craft the perfect beat and keenly championed by selectors from New York to London to Paris and Tokyo. It was also a major catalyst in LITA’s six album Jamaica-Toronto series and subsequent live showcase revue tour featuring The Mighty Pope (Earle Heedram), Everton “Pablo” Paul, and Jay Douglas. Over the years, I’ve been blessed to break bread and spend some quality moments with Wayne and his family, but apart from meeting him for the first time in preparation for the Sounds of Joy and Jamaica to Toronto reissues, one instance still burns bright in my mind, a family anniversary party in an Etobicoke apartment basement. Merline, along with some relatives and friends, had made a lovely spread and there was a local sound system pumping out reggae tunes. I sat on a chair next to Wayne as the guests trickled in and looked to the ground to watch his feet tap away to the rhythm in perfect time. Clearly, the music is still running strong within McGhie whether we get to hear it or not. Thanks for the memories Wayne, you’ve changed my life for the better. Your music will never die. I will champion your sound forever!

Kevin Howes (aka Sipreano)
Voluntary in Nature
Unceded Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver

Wayne McGhie (with microphone, bottom right)

Wilfred (Wayne) McGhie was born in Montego Bay on October 15, 1946. He picked up music at a young age after learning a basic guitar scale from his sister Merline. Music came naturally to Wayne. He bought a guitar instruction book on a trip to Kingston and proceeded to master chords. He also began formal music training at Montego Bay Boys’ School. Throughout the 1960s, local talent shows at the Palladium Theatre in downtown Montego Bay were the place for up-and-coming musicians and singers to hone their craft in front of a live audience. Wayne, as he was now known, would bring the house down with American R&B tunes such as Billy Stewart’s 1962 “Reap What You Sow.” During these talent shows, Wayne's skill was noted by Kingston-born musician Jo-Jo Bennett, a prominent trumpet player and bandleader. Wayne was soon performing with Billy Vernon and the Celestials alongside piano/organ player Dizzy Barker and singers Jimmy Wisdom and Bob Williams. He played with this band, along with popular vocalist Keith Stewart, until his departure for Canada in 1967. 

In the 1960s, Toronto became a new home for many Caribbean immigrants thanks to immigration reforms. Toronto's West Indian Federation Club (WIF) and Club Jamaica were places where folks could converse, eat, listen to music, and sustain their heritage. Scouted by the club’s management back home in Jamaica, Bennett had moved to Toronto in 1967 to perform at the WIF and soon called for McGhie. Winter in Toronto was a shocking change from Montego Bay, but a steady diet of music made the shift smoother for Wayne, whose girlfriend soon joined him in Canada. They wasted no time starting a family; in 1968, their sole daughter, was born. Unfortunately, Wayne’s constant gigging and busy practice schedule put stress on the young family. By the tail end of the 1960s, Wayne had developed into a promising musician, singer, and songwriter. Wayne penned “Chips-Chicken–Banana Split”, the A-side of Jo-Jo and the Fugitives’ sole 45 on the minor Cobra label. Eventually, other avenues began to open up for the growing pool of young Caribbean musicians in Toronto, which now included Jamaican music legends Jackie Mittoo and Alton Ellis. 

While the Yorkville area nurtured the burgeoning folk-rock coffeehouse scene with performances from the likes of Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, and Joni Mitchell, Yonge Street was the place for the midnight movers and groovers. Frank Motley & the Bridge Crossings, King Herbert & The Knights, the Hitchikers (with Jackie Shane), Jack Harden & the Silhouettes, the Sheiks featuring the Mighty Pope, the Majestics, the Cougars, Jon and Lee & the Checkmates, Mandala, Eddie Spencer, and Grant Smith & the Power were just some of the groups and artists that played to mixed-race crowds at clubs like the notorious Le Coq d’Or, then the number-one R&B club in Toronto. 

Music was a breakfast, lunch, and dinner affair for these talented musicians. Band work, pickup gigs, and recording consumed most waking moments. Still, high-end studios were a luxury; the Canadian recording industry of the time was in its infancy and neither structured nor willing to support Black artists. Sessions for the Sounds of Joy album were self-funded and recorded during off-hours at Sound Canada studios in the winter of 1969. Wayne was 23 at the time. 

Possessed with an intensifed vision, Wayne assembled a stellar cast of musical friends. Many of the Jamaican-born instrumentalists involved had already developed solid recording pedigrees back on the island. Twelve musicians are listed on the LP sleeve; others, including Jackie Mittoo, are rumoured to have sat in. Of the 10 songs recorded, six were McGhie originals, and as the material moved from funk, to soul, to reggae/R&B crossover, it is Wayne’s pure and soulful voice that sets the tone. Look no further than his emotional take of the Friends of Distinction’s 1969 hit “Going in Circles” for proof. McGhie squeezes every possible ounce of soul out of his vocal while a haunting flute floats “round and round” in the background and the chain-gang rhythm reaches and pulls in equal measure.  Instrumentally, the contributions were economical, dynamic, and heartfelt. The musicians didn’t overplay. Everton Paul’s opening drum break on “Dirty Funk” is as badass as they come, and once the song kicks in you’d be forgiven for thinking the band came from New Orleans, not the Caribbean.

As Wayne finished the album, he decided to start a band of his own to capitalize on its coming release and make some money on the road. The band was dubbed the Sounds of Joy and lent its handle to the Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy LP released in the spring of 1970. Although the band had started to gig to support the album, Birchmount did nothing to promote it. Compound that with zero radio play, and the album sank without a trace. Apart from friends and family, people didn’t seem to care. Even some of the album’s players didn’t even receive a copy of the finished disc.

Months later, an accidental fire at the Quality warehouse destroyed all of the remaining copies of the record. Because of its poor sales up to that point, the album was lost in the label’s scheduling shuffle, never to be re-pressed. This extinguished any hopes of the Sounds of Joy as a recording and touring unit, and despite Wayne’s righteous aspirations for the group, the absence of label support meant it was only a matter of time until things fell apart.

Distraught, but with bills to pay, Wayne continued gigging as a singer and accompanist in Toronto and on the Ontario and Quebec club circuit (he even ventured south to the United States on occasion as well as returning to Jamaica to record “How Does it Feel” for Studio One). His next notable recording projects were with the Hitchikers featuring the Mighty Pope (“Mr. Fortune”) and Ram, a post-Hitchikers splinter group. Ram’s lone release was an infectious McGhie-penned and sung jam entitled “Love Is the Answer.” Released in 1972 on the Tuesday label, it also featured Studio One veteran Joe Isaacs on drums. Despite minor regional attention, the single never caught on and Ram, like the Sounds of Joy before them, disintegrated.

Although Wayne continued to be musically active with session work for Jackie Mittoo on the Canadian Talent Library label and an unreleased solo album from the mid-to-late 1970s, the musical climate and club scene were changing. The hard-funk feel of the late 1960s and early 1970s was morphing into the slicker and more polished sound of disco. Wayne worked predominantly in the reggae and gospel scenes during this period through recorded an unreleased album of original material.

Constant gigging throughout the 1970s took its toll on Wayne. Unable to balance career and family, his fast pace and financial uncertainty began to be a problem. Despite playing with American-born/Toronto-based jazz and pop musician Bill King, at the start of the 1980s, Wayne had all but abandoned hope of a stable music career and was experiencing mental health problems. Heavily medicated, he lost touch with friends and became a wandering vagabond—a shadow of the strong, confident, and talented man who tore up the scene only a handful of years before.

Lost and presumed dead by some, Wayne eked out an existence under the radar of even his closest friends. Merline was never too far away and was able to care for him, but Wayne was underground. Stone cold gone and missed by many, he turned his back on the music that had brought him so much happiness.

Wayne’s music had an underground resurgence in the mid-1990s through sample based hip-hop and DJ culture. The Sounds of Joy was was re-released by Seattle-based Light in the Attic Records in 2004 with assistance from Kevin Howes (aka Sipreano) and Montego Bay-born/Toronto-based vocalist Jay Douglas who helped to find Wayne.

He was prominently featured on the 2006 archival compilation Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk, and Reggae 1967-1974, a project that was taken to the stage by Douglas, Everton “Pablo” Paul, Bob and Wisdom, Val Bent, Lloyd Delpratt, The Mighty Pope (Earle Heedram), Glen Ricketts, Noel Ellis, as well as other veteran players from the Jamaica-Toronto scene.

Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy was given a 10th anniversary re-release by Light in the Attic Records in 2014 and was his story was featured in the Jamaica Observer newspaper in 2015. 

With the full blessing and support of Wayne and his family, Voluntary In Nature is currently in production on its first release, a special tribute to the man from Montego Bay who has affected the world (and beyond) with his unique musical voice. Watch this space...


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

RIP Luc Cousineau

*RIP to a long-time VIN Francophone favourite, Luc Cousineau. From Les Alexadrins, to Luc et Lise, to Cousineau, to a solo artist under his own name, Luc was a masterful singer-songwriter and musician, one of Quebec's finest, sadly under appreciated throughout the English speaking world. Luc passed away in March of this year, but his music will ring true eternally... PEACE

Eden's Island

Sunday, July 9, 2017

HON'S on Keefer Street (Vancouver Chinatown)

As immature brats fresh out of high school, my pal John and I had nicknamed our server Pringle. Each and every Thursday night, our cylindrically shaped saviour would deliver two bowls of wonton noodle soup, two plates of twelve pan fried chicken potstickers, and two dishes of gai lan w/ oyster sauce from the hot and steamy kitchen at Hon's on Keefer Street in Vancouver's Chinatown for us to scarf down. Cokes were served on the side in glasses halfway filled with crushed ice, but back to the man. Pringle appeared to be in his mid-to-late-sixties w/ a full head of jet black hair parted to the side and a reserved demeanor. Even after years of patronage, our relationship remained strictly business. We were hungry and he was working. Occasionally, I’d see him out of the restaurant, walking around downtown. I always wondered about his life outside of work, his family, hobbies, and interests. My father had turned me on to Hon’s in the early 1990s at their New Westminster location and it quickly became a favourite. I'd bring friends when possible and spread the word at each and every opportunity. As the years progressed so did my ordering style, from the aforementioned soup to a serving of Szechuan pork juliennes on egg noodles. By the new millennium, I must have eaten this dish over a hundred times, the slightly spicy sweet sauce and dry noodles mixed together with a bowl of simple broth with thinly sliced green onions for flavour and texture. Chopsticks were always used even when forks were offered. The frequent trips to the Chinatown Hon’s became almost religious in nature, a final stop before heading back to Coquitlam on the 151 bus. Prior to our meal, John and I would spend time perusing the bins and racks of the many record shops that lined Seymour Street between Pender and Dunsmuir. There was Sam the Record Man, A&B Sound, Track Records, Odyssey Imports, and Collectors RPM. After spending most of what little money we had, we'd walk down Pender past the massive vacant lot where the International Village Mall (previously known as Tinseltown) now stands. The road was dark and edgy at night, a different bag than our suburban scenes. But it was the food that made us venture into Chinatown at night, an area that I’d been visiting w/ my family since the early 1980s. Hon’s was a revelation and always a fun place to hang. People of all backgrounds would eat there, enjoying good company and the restaurant’s famous Cantonese creations. When I moved back to Toronto in 2007 after not having lived there since 1991, Hon’s was one of the places that I missed the most. On return visits to the west coast, a family meal, often at the Robson street branch, was mandatory. The hot tea was always free and flowing. Fortune cookies rounded out the meal and often provided an insight or a cheap laugh. Dad liked to order the spicy squid w/ rock salt and their Shanghai noodles w/ XO sauce would be devoured within minutes of its arrival. Upon returning to live in Vancouver in 2010, Hon’s once again became a part of the restaurant rotation. By then, they had expanded to Coquitlam and I would often stop there while visiting friends or hitting up the local thrift and record stores. One day, I ordered my classic Szechuan pork juliennes on egg noodles, settled up at the cashier, and proceeded to get my first ever migraine. I had never felt such pressure and discomfort before and barely made it to my dad’s apartment only a few blocks away before curling up into the fetal position until the pain subsided. Was it something that I had eaten? A reaction to MSG? A sodium overdose? I wasn’t keen for an encore. Still, the lure of my favourite dish eventually brought me back followed by another monumental brain buster. What the heck was going on? Had they changed their ingredients? Were they cutting corners? Either thick or not wanting to take the hint, it took one more crippling Hon's headache to stop going altogether. I'm glad to report that I haven’t had a migraine since. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to walk up and down the streets of Chinatown, to catch the vibe in the midst of heavy development and a shifting dynamic. Despite being closed for the evening, I walked up to the large Hon’s window and paused for a minute to reflect on the many hours that I'd spent inside in my younger days. The restaurant was vacant and dimly lit by the adjoining mini mall. I thought of the man we called Pringle and the dozens upon dozens of meals eaten there, the jokes as well as the love shared. I took a few quick snaps on my iPhone and proceeded to walk up Main Street up to Mount Pleasant. Early last week, I caught wind that the Keefer Street Hon’s location had closed. Though I wouldn't have returned for one final nostalgic meal, it did make me sad to think of yet another casualty in the neighbourhood and the temporality of once dear friendships. Thanks for the memories... PEACE

Monday, June 19, 2017

Native North America Gathering 08/08/17 (Toronto)

Featuring live performances from...

Duke Redbird
Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback
Willy Mitchell
Lawrence Martin with Vern Cheechoo
Lloyd Cheechoo
Eric Landry
Leland Bell
Brian Davey
John Angaiak
Alexis Utatnaq

With MC: 
Brian Wright-McLeod (The Encyclopedia of Native Music)

And film:
The Ballad of Crowfoot (Willie Dunn, NFB, 1968)

August 8, 2017

Doors 7 pm / Show 8 pm

Trinity-St. Paul’s (427 Bloor Street West, Toronto)

Tickets available at the following link

We respectfully acknowledge that this event will take place on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Anishinabek, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation

Presented by Gladeye, Voluntary In Nature, and Revolutions Per Minute (

In second half of the 20th century, Indigenous musicians from across North America made their voices heard like never before. Inspired, informed, and contributing to the global explosion of youth culture, they combined words, poetry, art, film, and music to reflect a wide range of Native issues and experience: the balance and transition of traditional and modern life, language preservation, views on the land, family, love, spirituality, and the effects of colonialism. The disturbing events that unfolded at Wounded Knee in 1973 was one unfortunate catalyst for awareness, identity, protest, and change, but there was a new soundtrack coming from within the Indigenous communities during this era, provided by talented singer-songwriters like Buffy Sainte-Marie, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Alanis Obomsawin, Willie Dunn, and their peers. These artists didn’t mince their words. They made their voices heard loud and clear: We are Native! We are Proud! These are our truths! The time is now! Their inspiration was monumental to those both inside and outside of the various Indigenous communities of Turtle Island.

Still, without industry or mass media support to help transmit these messages, a determined artist had to work extremely hard to have their songs recorded to tape. Fewer would have their recordings pressed to vinyl and distributed. Either self-released or with the assistance of an established label, cultural organization, or national broadcaster like the CBC, a number of long playing albums and seven inch singles did hit the marketplace. They were mostly sold off of the stage at gigs, in convenience stores or at Native friendship centers, and occasionally at the odd mom and pop record shop. Whether the artists were aware at the time, their music began to travel. Over the years, they provided an essential document of this decisive era to listeners lucky enough to hear them and laid the groundwork for today’s vital Indigenous music scene. Though initially marginalized through mainstream exclusion, regional focus, geographic isolation, racism, and music industry short-sightedness, these artists are now being heard by an expanded global audience in 2017.

Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985 is a Grammy nominated 3-LP/2-CD/digital compilation of thirty-four landmark Indigenous recordings. Accompanied by an extensive liner notes book featuring biographies, archival images, and lyric transcriptions and translations, the collection was released by Seattle/Los Angeles-based Light in the Attic Records in November of 2014 after five years of production by music historian Kevin Howes (Voluntary In Nature). On Tuesday, August 8th, 2017, many of the box set’s veteran singers, songwriters, poets, musicians, and storytellers will gather from across Turtle Island for a once-in-a-lifetime concert celebration in cooperation with Gladeye, VIN, and RPM. Please help us to honour these legendary creators whose messages of love, awareness, and community have forever changed the musical landscape. Let’s continue to make it known!